HomeNewsReport : Saudi Arabia asked Twitter employee to spy on protesters

Report : Saudi Arabia asked Twitter employee to spy on protesters

Reader's Pick

In a report published by The New York Times, has sparked the new debate, on how the Twitter accounts have been targeted by “state-sponsored actors” a three years ago.

The report has come a few weeks after the death of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist at Washington Post who was disappeared from the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul a two weeks ago.

The reports have claimed that “The online attackers were the part of a board effort dictated by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his close advisers to silence critics both inside Saudi Arabia and outside the countries.”

“More than Hundreds of people were appointed at a troll farm in Riyadh to smother the voices of the protesters like Khashoggi”.

- Advertisement -

“The Western intelligence official told Twitter that one of its employees, a Saudi citizen was asked by the Government of Saudi Arabia to spy on the accounts of those critics”. The employee – an engineer – had access to data of Twitter users, including phone numbers and IP addresses. The Saudi officials have convinced him to snoop on several accounts.

When Twitter came to know about this, Twitter fired that employee, despite finding no evidence of providing data of users to the Saudi government. The employee returned to the kingdom and now works for the government.

After the release, The Times reports that Twitter has warned the few dozens of users that their accounts “may have been targeted by the State-sponsored actors.”

“As a precaution, we warn you that your Twitter account is one of the small groups of accounts that can be targeted by state-sponsored actors,” Twitter said on the e-mail users affected. “We believe these actors (perhaps associated with the government) may try to get information such as email addresses, IP addresses and/or phone numbers.”

- Advertisement -

Twitter didn’t say at the time what was the main reason behind sending the warning email, leading some to question what linked the affected accounts.

According to the report, nearly to 20 users were affected by the state-sponsored actors, including the privacy and security researcher Runa Sandvik, a human rights activist Michael Carbone and Austrian Communications expert Marco Schreuder.

Several of the affected users also worked for the Tor project (A browser which allows activists and researchers to browse the web anonymously – often to bypass state-level censorship and surveillance.”

The report also claimed that “Facebook and Google also push out the similar alerts in the place in the event of suspected state-sponsored attacks or hacking of the accounts.”


Stay on top of Budget 2023 with our newsletter

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.


Stay on top of Budget 2023 with our newsletter

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

- Advertisement -

Read latest Business News and Startup news on TechGraph. Watch live and latest news on TechGraph TV. Follow us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Listen audio news from TechGraph Briefings on Spotify, Google Podcast, Amazon Music & on Apple Podcast.

Krishna Mali
Krishna Mali
Founder & Editor of TechGraph.

Latest News

Promoted Links

Related Stories

Japan approves 26 trillion yen as economic stimulus package to combat overseas risks

Japan's cabinet approved an economic stimulus package worth 26 trillion yen ($2...

1Win App: Review India Apk for Android and iOS

The company 1Win has been successfully operating in the markets of many countri...

Sino-US trade war offers Europe’s chance to bank more Chinese reserves: Analysis

Should European countries want the euro to replace the dollar as the world's do...

Employees union seeks FIR against Jet Airways boss Naresh Goyal, Vinay Dube and on SBI Chairman

The employee union of Jet Airways, which is facing its worst crisis, Friday sou...

Samsung Electronics asks its shareholders to use electronic voting for upcoming AGM

Technology giant Samsung Electronics has adopted electronic voting for the firs...

Rahul Gandhi hits on RCEP says, ‘Make in India’ has become ‘Buy from China’

Asserting that "Make in India" has become "Buy from China," Congress leader Rah...

NASA astronauts to carry first ever all-female spacewalk on 29 March

Two NASA astronauts are scheduled to carry out the first ever all-female spacew...

Union Budget 2023: Five Major Changes to the Personal Income Tax Regime

In a major announcement on income tax changes, the government has revealed five...

Business Technology Strategies to Help You Survive a Recession

There's no doubt about it – we're amidst a recession. And while that may mean c...

What Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Northeast & Agritech got from Budget 2023?

Addressing the parliament on the ongoing union budget session, Finance Minister...